The Eurasier is a relative newcomer to the dog world, created in Germany only 50 years ago. He is the product of crosses between the Wolf Spitz, a Nordic-type breed found in Germany, the Chow Chow and, later, the Samoyed. The resulting puppies bred true, meaning they could reproduce themselves, and a new breed was born, recognized by the German Kennel Club and the Federation Cynologique Internationale, although not yet by the American Kennel Club. The name was chosen to signify the breed’s European and Asian background.
Created to be a companion dog, the Eurasier has the characteristics of a spitz breed: a wedge-shaped head, prick ears, a thick double coat that can be almost any color or combination of colors, and a bushy tail carried forward over the back. He may have a pink tongue or, courtesy of his Chow heritage, a blue-black or a speckled pink and blue-black tongue. The Eurasier is a medium-size dog, weighing 40 to 70 pounds. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering bringing a Eurasier into your home.
Is the Eurasier the Right Dog for You?
The Eurasier is devoted to his family but takes a while to warm up to anyone else. He’s not aggressive towards strangers, but he doesn’t like them to come up and pet him. If you want a dog that loves everyone at first sight, don’t choose a Eurasier.
When they are part of his family, the Eurasier is tolerant of children and other pets. He’s an excellent watchdog, alert but not noisy. Early and frequent socialization will help you bring out the best in your Eurasier.
The Eurasier has a low activity level and can live happily in any home, including an apartment or condo. One or two brief walks daily will satisfy his exercise needs.
This is an intelligent dog that is willing to learn. He responds well to clicker training and positive reinforcement techniques such as play, praise and food rewards. Keep training sessions short and fun so the Eurasier doesn’t get bored.
The Eurasier has a lot of coat, but he’s easy to groom. Brush him once or twice a week to remove dead hair. He’ll shed heavily twice a year, for about three weeks, and during that time you’ll want to brush him more often to keep the loose hair under control. The only other grooming he needs is regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental hygiene.
The people-loving Eurasier needs to live in the house with his family. It’s an unhappy Eurasier
To find links to breeder websites, visit the website of the United States Eurasier Club. Choose a breeder who is committed to following the USEC’s Code of Ethics, which prohibits the sale of puppies to pet stores or wholesalers and outlines the breeder’s responsibilities to the breed and to buyers.
Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health problems in Eurasiers aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an adult dog, most of them can be ruled out. In addition, a Eurasier can live up to 14 years, so an adult dog will still be a part of your family for a long time to come.
Puppy or adult, take your Eurasier to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
Don’t ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store. You’re more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to housetrain puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.
Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.
Health Issues Common to Eurasiers
All purebred dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
The Eurasier has some health problems that can be a concern, especially if you aren’t careful whom you buy from. They include hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, autoimmune thyroiditis, and an eye problem called distichiasis (a double row of eyelashes).
At a minimum, ask the breeder to show evidence that both of a puppy’s parents have hip scores of Excellent, Good or Fair from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or a PennHIP score, as well as certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that the eyes are healthy.
Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. Having the dogs "vet checked" is not a substitute for genetic health testing.
Pet Insurance for Eurasiers
Pet insurance for Eurasiers costs more than for mixed breed dogs. This is because Eurasiers are more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
Embrace pet insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which Eurasiers are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your Eurasier is when he’s a healthy puppy. You can’t predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can’t get when you need it the most.